Sunday, July 9, 2017

Never Forget!

Greetings, readers - at least I hope there are some out there! This post is a bit different, but these thoughts came to mind, so here we are.

Well, just what should we "never forget'?  Certainly, some things should be burned in our memories:  beloved family members and pets, important mentors and teachers, moments which had an oversized impact on our futures. It's even been said you never forget how to ride a bike (assuming you learned to ride in the first place!).  It's also been said, "use it or lose it" and I do believe there's lots of truth in that.  I have found however, that some remnants of things I've learned are still in my brain somewhere.  I haven't done Calculus in quite some time.  But I did have an opportunity to observe the one Calculus teacher while I was still working and although I certainly would need a refresher even then, I did find that what she was going over in class did at least sound some familiar chords.  And even though I haven't used or studied French in even longer, sometimes I can still come up with some words or even a basic sentence in French, which I find pretty cool. Now let me begin some further thoughts.

Never Forget Where You Came From

This really can't be said enough. Everyone needs to remember where he or she started and what had to be gone through to "make it" (assuming the person has indeed done just that).  Hard work at one's craft, studying, working through grunge jobs, whatever it took, NEVER FORGET.  Allow me to share this from my experience.  When I was first hired at the college I am now retired from, I wasn't hired on faculty.  I was  "tech assistant" and of course grateful for that position.  Wonderfully, a faculty job in my area opened up the next year and I was fortunate to secure that position.  Now when I was still a tech, there was some discussion of the tech and faculty joining together in one bargaining unit to have a bigger voice.  That issue came up and was voted on again when I and several other former techs were on faculty.  I voted to join together, but believe it or not, that was not unanimous among the former techs.  Go figure!

Those who come from privilege should remember that, too.  It's ok to be grateful (I'm only a 99%'er, but I'm grateful for many things, notably my late parents and my education).  But always also remember that many folks don't come with ready-made advantages.

I feel it is important to always keep in mind where you've been, and at the very least not advocate for dismantling programs that would help others rise or for policies which would place more roadblocks in their way.  We all also need to be aware of some subtle biases which lead to blaming the poor for being poor.  Maia Szalavitz discusses them in a very good op-ed for The Guardian.  She writes about "...the psychology concept known as the “fundamental attribution error”. This is a natural tendency to see the behavior of others as being determined by their character – while excusing our own behavior based on circumstances." She also mentions “...'actor-observer bias'. When we watch others, we tend to see them as being driven by intrinsic personality traits, while in our own case we know that, for example, we acted angrily because we’d just been fired, not because we’re naturally angry people."

 Never Forget Who You Are

You should never forget who you are, the unique person you have become over the years. Never forget that, in my college colleague, Dr. Fred's fine talk, that he told us that we are in some ways similar to all other humans, in some ways similar to some other humans, and in some ways we are unique persons.  Our challenge is to keep our individuality yet always honor our common humanity, respecting those we feel similar to and also those who might just be different!  Here's a nice piece by Arthur Dobrin that is worth digesting!

 
Never Forget What You Are About

You should never forget your calling, your dreams, your passions.  There is much work to do and I believe each of us has an individual calling with work meant just for him or her.  So you are needed as we face the challenges which are daily around us.  I remember what singer-songwriter Howard Jones told the audience at the excellent concert of his I was fortunate to attend.  He told us that if one has a dream - "never, ever give up!"  Those of us especially who fervently believe in social justice need to keep up the fight. To quote Bob Marley; "Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight."

So never forget where you came from, who you are, or what you're about. Take your history as a starting point and use your individual gifts to progress - as an individual and just maybe to also aid in societal progress as well.


Please - comments are gold (could use some encouragement) and sharing is caring!


2 comments:

  1. Thesis for these nice words too remember.

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  2. Thank you for stopping by, "We're All on a Journey (and so we are!), and for reading and leaving such a nice comment. Don't be a stranger. Love my readers!

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